Last week, I was listening to Hockey Central @ Noon on Sportsnet (or Fan 590) as I always do during lunch on Fridays. Nick Kypreos, former NHLer and current radio/TV personality, talked about how he brought Greg Zaun, current Toronto Blue Jays catcher, to the Leaf game hte night before. While the two were in the alumni box at the ACC, among other Leafs’ alumni, “Zaunie” commented about how catching is similar to goaltending in hockey, and how he could probably play goalie. Immediately, Kypr’s voice got serious. He contended, and rightfully so, that the two positions are much different, but equally difficult.
The challenge was set: In this battle of professional athletes turned Ted Rogers’ employees (as Greg Zaun is Sportsnet’s World Series analyst, more on that at the bottom), Curtis Joseph would help Greg Zaun suit up the pads and would try to stop just one of ten shots that Nick Kypreos would shoot at him.
The Youtube video says it all. Kypr was a good sport about it: he knew that he could not sleep at night and call himself a champion unless if he challenged Zaunie’s “bread and butter” - his glove hand. Zaun did not exactly stone Kypr’s 10th and final shot, but he saved the puck from hitting the back of the net. Nonetheless, Zaun’s facial expression told the story of utter domination by Kypreo. Throughout the contest, Kypreos only had to make a slight twitch of his stick and the puck would be in the net.
Round 1 went to Kypreos, but Round 2 is set for the baseball diamond. The challenge is unknown, but what is known is that Ted Rogers certainly knows how to pick ‘em.
Greg Zaun. As a fan, you either subscribe to “Zaunbie Nation” or you loathe the fact that there is even a club devoted to him. Love him or not, he is a great baseball analyst. I was really impressed of how he broke down the game to every little detail. He commented on what some would call a base running mistake by Jimmy Rollins in game 5* and turned it into a smart play to avoid the double play. He gave tips to Evan Longoria’s hit or miss swing, that Evan evidently did not hear. This knowledge of the game innately comes with being a catcher for so many years, including a World Series year with the Florida Marlins. The catcher has to focused on every situation with every pitch in the game, and this mental focus is what persuaded him to perhaps compare catching to goaltending. If Zaun keeps up his knowledge of the game, he will be employed by Ted Rogers beyond his playing days. If there was one word of advice I would give to Greg Zaun, it would be to go to Sean McCormick for fashion tips because the zest over dress shirt look is not doing anything. Oh yeah, and stick to blocking baseballs, not pucks.
The Blown Call Sports Blog examines the issues in modern day sports. It is meant to be a commentary about what is wrong and right in sports. For fantasy junkies, there will be plenty of juice here for you as well.